Baron Island Winds, LLC Proposed Electric Generation Facility Case 15-F-0122

On November 29, 2017, Baron Winds, LLC (Applicant) filed an Application for a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need (Certificate) seeking approval under Article 10 of the Public Service Law (PSL) to construct a 300-megawatt (MW) wind-powered electric generating facility. The project is proposed to be located in the Towns of Cohocton, Dansville, Fremont, and Wayland, Steuben County.

Informational Forums and Public Statement Hearings

On August 29, 2018, the New York State Board on Electric Generation Siting and the Environment (Siting Board) determined that the application complied with filing requirements and that the hearing process therefore could begin. Interested members of the public are invited to attend public statement hearings and provide their comments on the proposed project.

Administrative Law Judges (ALJs) from the New York State Departments of Public Service and Environmental Conservation will serve as Examiners for the proceeding and will preside over the public statement hearings. Comments made at the hearings will be transcribed and become part of the formal record in this proceeding and will be presented to the Siting Board for its consideration of the proposed project. It is not necessary to make an appointment in advance or present written materials in order to speak at the hearing.*

Each hearing will be immediately preceded by an informational forum. At the forums, the ALJs will provide a brief overview of the review process under which the project will be brought to the Siting Board for decision and the Applicant will present a brief summary of the proposed project. Members of the public will have an opportunity to ask questions and view maps of the proposed project area at that time.

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Description of the Project

The Applicant proposes to construct and operate a wind-powered electric generation facility to be located in the Towns of Cohocton, Dansville, Fremont and Wayland, in Steuben County, New York. The Facility would interconnect to the electrical grid at an existing substation on the New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) 230 kilovolt (kV) transmission line in the Town of Cohocton.

As detailed in Application Exhibits 2 and 3, the proposal consists of a 300-megawatt (MW) wind-powered electric generation facility including the installation and operation of:

    • up to 76 wind turbines;
    • access roads;
    • meteorological towers;
    • operation and maintenance building; and a
    • collection substation
Additional details are set forth in the project Application, which is available at To access information regarding the Project, click on “Search” and then enter case number 15-F-0122.

Summary of the Article 10 Process

There are five phases to the Article 10 process, including pre-application, application, administrative hearings, Siting Board decision and compliance.

  • Pre-Application: In this phase, an Applicant submitted two documents: a Public Involvement Program (PIP) Plan and a Preliminary Scoping Statement (PSS). The PIP Plan is filed at least 150 days in advance of the PSS and the PSS must be submitted at least 90 days before the Application is filed. The Baron Winds PIP Plan was filed in February 2015 and summarized activities to educate, inform and involve the public in the Article 10 process. The PSS, submitted in August 2016, described information the Applicant proposed to include in the application for this project. The PSS included a description of the proposed facility and reasonable alternatives, potential significant environmental and health impacts, proposed studies to evaluate the potential impacts and measures to avoid or mitigate the impacts.

    There are opportunities for public involvement during the pre-application phase designed to facilitate communication between the Applicant and interested or affected parties. When the PSS was filed, the Applicant paid a fee to fund a pre-Application intervenor account which provides money to assist intervenor efforts in hiring consultants and lawyers. After funds were dispersed, the Applicant and several parties developed a Stipulation and Agreement as to a full scope of studies and information to be presented in the Article 10 Application.

  • Application: The Application includes a description of the project, public involvement activities, and benefits of the project. The Application contains an analysis of the potential impacts of construction and operation on, among other things, the environment, land use, public health and safety, communications, transportation, cultural and historic resources, and the statewide electric system. Results from studies conducted, proposed measures to minimize impacts and reasonable and available alternative locations are also provided. The Application was accompanied by intervenor funds to support local participation in the review of the proposed project. In August 2018, the Chair of the Siting Board determined that the Application complied with all filing requirements.
  • Procedural Conference and Administrative Hearing: Upon determining the Application to be compliant, the Chair of the Siting Board set a date for public hearings. The public statement hearings provide an opportunity for anyone interested in the project to make comments on the record for consideration by the Siting Board. The public statement hearings for the Baron Wind Project are scheduled for Tuesday, October 11, 2018, beginning at 3:00 PM and 7:00 PM at the Hornell City Hall Courtroom. A procedural conference is scheduled for the following day, October 12, at the same location beginning at 10:30 AM. At the procedural conference, the Examiners may identify intervenor parties, consider requests for intervenor funds, determine issues for the evidentiary hearing and establish a case schedule. Evidentiary hearings to consider the evidence provided by the Applicant and any participating parties, will be scheduled by the Examiners as needed. After the conclusion of evidentiary hearings and consideration of summaries of parties’ positions, the Examiners may issue a recommended decision for the Siting Board’s consideration.
  • Siting Board Decision: In making a determination, the Siting Board will consider the entirety of the record developed in the case. The Siting Board is required to make certain findings about the nature of the impacts related to construction and operation of the project. Specifically, the Siting Board determines whether the project is a beneficial addition or substitute for generation capacity and is in the public interest; that adverse environmental impacts will be minimized or avoided; and that construction and operation of the facility will be in compliance with state laws and regulations. The Board also determines whether compliance with or override of unreasonably restrictive local laws and regulations is appropriate. Article 10 requires that all proceedings on the Application, including the Siting Board decision, must be completed within 12 months of the Application being deemed compliant unless extraordinary circumstances require additional time. For the Baron Wind case, a decision must be rendered by August 29, 2019.
  • Compliance: If a Certificate of Environmental Compatibility and Public Need is granted for the project, the project moves into the compliance phase. This phase includes three elements: pre-construction compliance, DPS on-site compliance and long-term compliance. The pre-construction element includes filing and review of final engineering and design documents, and obtaining permits and approvals prior to construction. For DPS on-site compliance, Staff inspects site conditions to ensure compliance requirements are met after construction begins. Finally, a project’s Certificate may require long term compliance regarding the operation, maintenance and decommissioning of the project.

Methods for Commenting on the Case

There are opportunities to attend public outreach events to learn about the proposed project and provide comments. All comments can be made at the public statement hearing held on October 11, 2018 or submitted through the methods below:
    • Via Mail or E-Mail: Submit comments electronically to Kathleen H. Burgess, Secretary, at or by mail to Secretary Burgess at the New York State Department of Public Service, Three Empire State Plaza, Albany, NY 12223-1350. Comments should reference the Baron Wind Project (Case 15-F-0122).
    • Via the Department Website: Comments may be entered directly into the case via the website, by entering Cases 15-F-0122 in the Search option found on the homepage. After opening the case, enter comments in the “Post Comments” section located at the top of the page.
    • Call the Toll-free Opinion Line: Individuals may choose to submit comments by calling the Commission’s toll-free Opinion Line at 1-800-335-2120. This line is set up to receive in-state calls 24 hours a day. Callers should reference Case 15-F-0122 – Baron Wind. Comments received via the Opinion Line are not transcribed, but a summary is provided to the Siting Board for their consideration.

Comments submitted via these alternate means are requested by December 5, 2018, but comments may be submitted and will be considered throughout the pendency of this proceeding. All comments will become part of the record considered by the Siting Board.
For a printable version click here 15-F-0122 Baron Wind fact sheet PDF.pdf15-F-0122 Baron Wind fact sheet PDF.pdf

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